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QR Codes - who's really using them?

By Chris SheehyQR codes are a great conduit for connecting a static image to digital information; but does this technology really benefit business?  And who's actually using it? Quick Response (QR) Codes where created by a division of Toyota Motor Company in 1994 to track automobile parts, a component of Toyota's "lean manufacturing system".  Today however, it's widely used for marketing applications that use smartphones as the vehicle to convert a visual image into online information.

It's all pretty cool actually; if only more people where using it.

A recent report by dubitresearch suggests the low consumer usability of QR Codes could be tied to the fact that people simply don't recognize it as a marketing form.

"Our research questioned 1,000 teens aged between 11-18 years of age with an equal balance between gender and age. When shown an image of a QR code only 43 per cent correctly identified that it could be read by a mobile phone while 19 per cent admitted they didn’t know what it was. Eight per cent of girls suspected it might be a magic-eye picture."

While the percentage of those surveyed who correctly identified the QR code was low, some of those surveyed actually did recognize what it was and more importantly - what it did. Inspiringly; of those - 74% had a positive feedback after using the code (props to that marketer!).

So what does this mean?

Well - if you are going to start using the QR Code medium as part of your local marketing strategy; plan to invest some marketing real-estate to educate and guide the user on what the code does, and what they could expect to see. Consumers will eventually get it.

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